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NHL draft eligible forward Laing named WHL Rookie of the Week

The Western Hockey League announced today that Hunter Laing of the Prince George Cougars has been named Kal Tire WHL Rookie of the Week for the week ending February 11, 2024.

The 17-year-old led all rookie WHLers in goals with three lamp-lighters, an assist and a plus-two rating as Prince George went 2-0-0-0.

Laing struck first as Prince George’s second powerplay unit went to work against the Victoria Royals on February 9. The 6-foot-6 right winger parked himself on the Royals’ doorstep and collected a fortuitous rebound off the end boards to roof the puck short side on the Victoria netminder for his eighth of the season. The Cougars would go on to collect a 4-1 win.

The youngster was even more effective in a rematch against Victoria the following night. Laing pounced on a loose puck in the offensive zone and evaded a pair of defenders before opening the scoring again with a sweet backhand move. Just three minutes later, Laing joined the Cougars rush and drove the net to hammer a long rebound from Ephram McNutt’s shot into the yawning net. With Prince George leading 7-6 in the third period, Laing would serve up an assist to Borya Valis for some added insurance as the Cougars seized a dramatic 9-6 decision. This marks the first three-point game of Laing’s young WHL career.

Laing’s season total has grown to 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points in 52 games.

The Kelowna, B.C. product made his WHL debut at 15 years old after being selected by Prince George in the second round, 33rd overall in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft. He played eight games over two seasons before making the team full-time in the 2023-24 season.

Laing is ranked 108th among all North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting Service ahead of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft in June.

Prince George (25-15-0-2) has won three straight and has points in seven of its last 10 games to remain atop the WHL’s B.C. Division.

The Cougars will wrap up a four-game homestand at the CN Centre when they host the Kamloops Blazers (16-30-3-2) on February 16.

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